If you’re looking to plan an exciting, culture-filled trip to Columbus, it’s hard to know where to start. Between the many parks, museums and historic sites in the area, it can be hard to narrow down the options and figure out which ones are most important for you to visit during your trip. Luckily, we have you covered! In this guide to Columbus attractions, we’ll walk you through our top picks for things to do in the city and introduce you to some incredible sights that shouldn’t be missed on your next trip.
Columbus is full of iconic, historical landmarks. Take a tour of some of these for a small fee and you can spend hours wandering through them. And if your favorite landmark isn’t on our list, please tell us! We’re constantly updating our travel guides to help readers like you plan their next trip. Here are some landmarks we love: The Columbus Museum of Art , which features an eclectic collection of art from local, national and international artists; Topiary Park , which was originally created in 1993 with over 40 unique tree-shaped sculptures; The Ohio Statehouse (pictured above), home to some stunning architecture as well as an impressive history that includes several U.S. Presidents; Franklin Park Conservatory , which has more than 10,000 plants representing over 1,000 different species. It also features indoor and outdoor gardens, including a Japanese garden and an English garden; COSI Columbus , an interactive science museum that allows visitors to learn about technology while having fun. It also houses permanent exhibits such as Dinosphere, Health Zone and KidZone. Southwest Airlines Reservations book a flight should be your first choice. Southwest Airlines frequently offers excellent discounts and deals
Water parks, sightseeing and museums can be some of a family’s favorite things while vacationing. Whether you’re traveling by yourself or with your family and friends, it’s always nice to have fun things planned out ahead of time. So let us help you get started with ideas on some of these local attractions! Best Water Parks in Columbus Area: As one of the hottest destinations for families in central Ohio, water parks provide a great way for families to beat those summer heat waves. Even if you can’t decide between tubing down lazy rivers or riding high speed waterslides, we’ve got some options for you! Splashtown is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day (mid-May through mid-September) and features an Olympic sized pool, kiddie pool, wave pool, hot tubs and more. This year will mark Splashtown’s 35th anniversary! Zoombezi Bay is another popular water park located right next to COSI (Center of Science & Industry). They boast over 25 acres of land including 15 acres of lakes and 5 acres of woods – making it perfect for nature lovers as well as thrill seekers. In addition to their wave pool, slides & rides they also offer educational programs such as science demonstrations, arts & crafts projects, animal encounters and more!
If you want your kids to learn about history and science in a fun way, spend a day at Zoombezi Bay. From paddle boats and kayaks for rent, on-site restaurants, go-karts, miniature golf and a host of other activities—this water park is perfect for families. It’s also just an enjoyable place for adults. The beach is huge, there are picnic areas and plenty of shade trees—making it a popular place all year round. Whether you’re celebrating something special or just looking for something fun to do with family, Zoombezi Bay is one attraction that won’t disappoint.
One of Columbus’ most sought-after attractions is its wide array of nightlife options. With bars, restaurants and clubs all throughout downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, it’s difficult not to find something that fits your fancy. Whether you’re interested in dancing or enjoying an intimate conversation, you’ll be able to find something fun during your stay. Since it’s a college town, there are plenty of places where you can grab a drink with friends or enjoy some live music if that’s more your style. There’s also great live theater here if you’re in town during any of their events!
When visiting in spring, summer or fall, you have countless outdoor activities to choose from. Start with exploring Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, an arboretum that was built in 1895. Tour its 20 acres of gardens and greenhouses where you can check out exhibits such as Butterfly Kingdom, a tropical rainforest-like environment filled with butterflies that flutter overhead. Other fun places include Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark & Family Fun Center and Zoombezi Bay Water Park. Check out nearby Western & Southern Open for tennis matches. The 18-day tennis tournament is played at Lindner Family Tennis Center and has world class players from all over vying for a title. Southwest Airlines has cheap flights to Columbus starting at $66 one way and $132 round trip.
COTA’s Hop-On/Hop-Off tour is a great way to see some of the city’s top attractions for just $30 per person. The open-air trolley takes you through downtown, German Village and Victorian Village. The ride lasts about two hours and includes 19 stops, so you can jump on and off as you please. In addition to tours, COTA also offers public bus service in every neighborhood throughout Columbus and its suburbs—and it’s completely free!